Did you come to the Hamptons to eat at a New York City restaurant? Thank you, Almond and Bobby Van’s, Sant Ambroeus, Delmonico’s.
Try homegrown, not on a main drag but in a farmhouse with a roadside garden on Sag Harbor Turnpike. Fresh Hamptons is a healthful restaurant, the kind that uses coconut oil to cook greens, coats fish in hemp-flour crust and offers gluten-free, raw and vegan options. The raspberry vinaigrette is made with fruit from the garden. Todd Jacobs is chef.
A green, blue and pink painting of Gandhi pops in a dining room of warm, dark wood in a space that hasn’t changed much since it was Bruce Buschel’s Southfork Kitchen. Catch a glimpse of the pink sky at sunset through the windows.
The tables are without cloths. I sat at the bar, with a chef’s cutting mat at my place. Chalk boards in the bathrooms are filled with kudos for the food and the phone number to call for takeout. A glowing blonde stopped in to pick up roasted chicken and a pink mocktail with pear puree.
Things are done a little differently here. Protein is ordered by the quarter-, half- or whole pound. My quarter-pound of oven-baked blue fish with lemon and pepper arrived in a bowl by itself, looking rather lonesome. It had a rich smoky taste but after a few bites I got bored. So I mixed in the quinoa and sugar snap peas I’d ordered on the side, which worked because none of the flavors were too strong.
My company at the bar included two white-haired men eating cold soup and two attractive young couples drinking a bottle of rose.
Iris Dankner was dining with friends to celebrate Holiday House, an interior-design show house she organized, which is open for touring until Sunday.
We’d spent the afternoon together at the house in Bridgehampton, off Brick Kiln Road. Things I wanted to take home: the cornflower blue/batik fabric by Aerin on the living-room couch, in Mabley Handler’s room; the entire laundry room with two sets of washer/dryers, and the rope chandeliers in Thom Filicia’s den. (Filicia signs copies of his book at the house Thursday night.)
Proceeds will be about $100,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Dankner said, so I raised my $16 cocktail to her. It was a Tiptoe through the Garden of Good and Evil, made of organic tomato vodka, tomato consomme (the recipe calls for 10 pounds of tomatoes, Tabasco, coriander), basil and garlic salt. It’s a very light Bloody Mary with a sophisticated look in a martini glass.
I took a speed tour of other restaurants at the Dan’s Taste of Two Forks Saturday night.
I imagined a fun night out with friends tasting a tuna taquito from 668 The Gigshack, based in Montauk. It was a generous helping of spicy tuna tartar served in a wonton-style taco shell with a big slice of avocado and greens.
Also from Montauk came quinoa salad from Sea Grille restaurant at Gurney’s Inn, full of flavor with lentils and chickpeas, tomatoes and carrots.
The eggplant was cooked just right in Osteria Salina’s caponata on crostini.
As for dessert, the Mexican chocolate spice ice cream in a mini sugar cone from Joe & Liza’s Ice Cream in Sag Harbor was “the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted” my sister declared. We were both glad we’d saved room.
I liked the cucumber white wine mint sorbet by the Sorbabes, but my favorite was fresh peaches and strained Greek yogurt on top of ginger oat cookies from Anke’s Fit Bakery. This one you’ll have to make yourself; the cookies are available at the Juicy Naam, Springs General Store and Jack’s Stir Brew.
Chefs & Champagne
The next big tasting event is Chefs & Champagne organized by the James Beard Foundation, featuring chefs from Hoboken to Sag Harbor and beyond. The event is at Wolffer Estate on Saturday night. Jacobs, the chef at Fresh Hamptons, is set to serve Long Island duckling breast with wild greens.
Sunday is Taste of Montauk organized by the Chamber of Commerce. East by Northeast is serving lobster gazpacho, the Coast will offer spicy fluke sushi with scallions. Theo Foscolo will make root beer floats with his small-batch Miss Lady Root Beer. Local vineyard Macari and five others will pour.
On July 28, Tom Colicchio’s restaurant at Topping Rose House and Matthew Michel of the Rolling in Dough Pizza truck will be at Meet the Chefs to benefit the Hayground School in Bridgehampton. The elite, $1,000 ticket is a dinner afterward at the home of Toni Ross, of Nick & Toni’s, honoring Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert.
Or you could cook at home. Get out of the Citarella rut and head to Round Swamp Farm on Three Mile Harbor Road. The market is stocked with the farm’s own golden beets and carrots. Pick up fish from the seafood counter, olive oil, and decadent homemade brownies that taste like chocolate molten cake, all in a store the size of a New York studio, with a much bigger parking lot.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
Muse highlights include Laurie Muchnick on books, Warwick Thompson on London theater.